On Saturday 28 April we brought together young digital creators from the UK Raspberry Pi community for the first-ever Coolest Projects UK. Coolest Projects started in Dublin seven years ago as an event where Ninjas can showcase the creative projects they had been making throughout the year.
Earlier this year we opened up all Coolest Projects events run by the Raspberry Pi Foundation to all young makers who attend Code Clubs, Dojos, and Raspberry Jams. It’s already been a true success, with lots of Ninjas registering to present their projects not only at Coolest Projects UK, but also at the upcoming International and North American events!
At the UK event, over 40 projects were showcased by 65 young people. Their projects ranged from unicorn games built in Scratch to cracker-and-cheese dispensers powered by Raspberry Pis. In every single project, young people applied their creativity, technical abilities, and problem-solving skills to make something that personally motivated them. Throughout the day, young people and over 300 visitors engaged in cool hands-on making activities, such as 3D printing, and enjoyed sitting back and watching the live shows and demos hosted by Greg Foot and Neil Montaro.
I have been involved in organising Coolest Projects International for the past four years and can truly say the standard at Coolest Projects UK rivalled that of the international event held in Dublin each year!
One of the first projects I saw at Coolest Projects UK was a Pong game made in Scratch by ten-year-old CoderDojo attendee Isabella. Throughout the day, she was challenging people to make it onto the leader board for her addictive game with multiple skill levels. Only because I was one of the first competitors did I manage to snatch third place on the board, with a terrible score that I know was definitely beaten by numerous people thereafter!
Some of my favourite projects were in the hardware category, the most popular category for entries. One of the stand-out projects was a medical locking box built by Caoimhe, Dulcie, and Jennie from Manchester. It reminds people with Alzheimer’s and their carers when medication should be taken, and it alerts carers by text if the medicine box hasn’t been opened.
I also loved the project Ayve (10) wrote in Python using a Raspberry Pi and the Google Cloud Speech API: Voice O’Tronik responds to voice commands such as ‘move arms’ or ‘roll eyes’. Ayve not only had an extremely creative and forward-thinking idea, but she also presented her project fantastically to every young person and adult who was interested in hearing more.
Congratulations to all the Ninjas who entered Coolest Projects UK this year — we can’t wait to see you come back next year! If you were at Coolest Projects UK, we’d love to hear your story, so tweet us @CoolestProjects.
There is still time to get tickets for Coolest Projects International in Dublin on 26 May, where Ninjas from all over the world will showcase 750 projects. Get your ticket to attend today!
We’ve also opened project registrations for the first-ever Coolest Projects North America, which will be held in the Discovery Cube, Orange County, California on 23 September 2018. Find out more now.
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See more photos from the day here!